This week's game location schedule is a bit more compact and inverted from the last several weeks due to changes necessitated by the Cardinals and scheduling for many of the referees, according to AYL league officials.
With February upon us, we've got some important information to share with you that will lend some clarity and stability for the rest of the season.
1) NEW PRACTICE LOCATION
Scottsdale United has found a home for all of our teams for the remainder of the AYL season: the main turf field at Saguaro High Schoolat 6250 N 82nd St in Scottsdale (Hayden Rd. between Indian Bend and McDonald).
While we only have access to the one field, it will be much larger and better lit than our previous homes for January.
The practice schedule will be as follows for the rest of the season, starting this Tuesday:
Tuesdays & Thursdays
K-4th grade 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
5th & 6th grade 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Middle School 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Please be sure to have your player(s) at practice 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time. This gives them a chance to pad up, catch up with friends, and get a good warm-up in with their teammates.
One final note from the coaches: practice is critical to getting better as a lacrosse player, and it's an essential component of team sports.
Players who do not attend practice during the week, for whatever reason, may earn less playing time during the following weekend's games as a result.
As soon as all the contact information for the coaching staff has been collected, we'll post it to the team pages on the website for your use in the event you cannot make it to practice. We'll let you know what that happens.
2) FACE-OFF ACADEMY EVERY TUESDAY FROM 7:00 TO 7:30
What do the New York Lizards, Canadian National Team, Denver Pioneers and Duke Blue Devils have in common? All have relied on dominant face-off specialists to win national (or world) championships over the last several years.
MS Orange coach Alex Reynes was a face-off specialist in college, and he will be holding a free 30-minute clinic every Tuesday - starting this week - to teach the tricks of the trade to any interested United players.
Any interested players of any age are welcome to learn from Coach Reynes, starting this week, so be sure to take advantage of this unique opportunity!
3) GAME LOCATIONS FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON
The locations for all but one week of the AYL season have been confirmed, as noted below. Mark your calendars accordingly!
The actual game schedule will be released as soon as possible each week, now that the A and B brackets are close to being finalized.
For the sake of planning your weekends, you can expect to play at the same times each Saturday as you have for the last two weeks: younger kids play first, older kids play in the afternoon.
A number of players have yet to pick up their practice packs, so if you haven't collected your practice pinnie, practice shorts, shooter shirts or game socks yet, be sure to stop by the black container with the yellow lid before or after practice to collect yours.
A few players who signed up after the registration deadline do not have practice shorts that are the right size. We will need to do a supplementary order.
Please respond to this email if this includes your player(s), and let us know what size he needs.
Game uniforms should be here this week for distribution as well!
We'll see everyone out at Saguaro High School starting this Tuesday!
After several days of rain and more expected tonight, all of the field locations available for Saturday's season kickoff are so waterlogged that all activity has been canceled on them through the weekend.
As a result, we're forced to cancel Saturday's kickoff. We'll just start the season next Tuesday evening after the fields dry out instead.
We continue to work with Salt River Fields to secure the necessary permits and waivers to allow us to practice at the same location with all 110+ players at the same time.
In the meantime, we have locked down fields at two locations to ensure that each team has the room they need to practice effectively.
The timing isn't ideal during the school week, but this should allow every player to get their studies completed before they go out and burn off some energy before bed.
PLAYER EVALUATION & TEAM ASSIGNMENTS
The coaches will take each age group and practice together the first week or so to evaluate new players and assign players to each team.
After the first 2-3 practices are completed, we'll post the rosters for each of the teams on the website and email them to you as well.
Once teams have been set, we'll arrange for parent meetings during practice to allow parents to meet the coaches, discuss coaching philosophies and expectations for the season, answers any questions you might have, etc.
GAME SCHEDULES & LOCATIONS
All sixteen lacrosse clubs in the ALL have submitted their final team counts to the league directors, and the first four weeks of the schedule are being created as we speak.
As soon as the schedules have been finalized, we'll share the times and locations with you. These games are arranged as festivals, with all teams playing in the same location each week, usually two games every Saturday.
Games are scheduled to begin January 23 and run through April 2. Originally the season was to conclude a week later, but the Scottsdale Sports Complex became available on April 1 and 2 and that was a much more suitable venue for the championships.
PRACTICE & GAME GEAR
All practice and game gear has been received from UnderArmour and is in the process of being screened as we speak.
As soon as we have an in-hand date to distribute the gear we'll share that with you.
In the meantime, all returning United players are encouraged to wear their practice uniforms.
All new players are welcome to wear whatever pinnies and lacrossewear you happen to own.
Over the past several years, youth lacrosse in Arizona has been split between two leagues, the Arizona Youth Lacrosse League (AYLL) and the Arizona Lacrosse League (ALL).
In the interest of growing the sport and delivering the best possible experience for the players, the executive committees from both leagues have formally agreed to merge together to form a new league.
This new league, Arizona Youth Lacrosse (AYL) will incorporate teams from across the Valley and ideally the state in the future.
Here are some of the changes and highlights effective this coming season:
There will be a Junior High division (7th and 8th graders), a U6 division (5th and 6th graders) and a U4 division as before.
New this year will be a U9 division consisting of 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade players.
This U9 division will play:
on a smaller field (sideline-to-sideline)
with six players on the field at a time
using smaller goals with no goalies
with attack sticks only (no longpoles/d-poles allowed)
This model is consistent with all other youth sports that play on scaled-down fields at younger ages to increase skill development and play time for newer and younger players.
The U4 division will also play on a scaled-down version of a regular field with fewer players, but with goalies.
We will continue to emphasize stick skills over contact at the U6 and JHS levels.
SEASON & GAME FORMAT
We will continue with our current format of jamborees, with all teams competing together at the same location around the Valley each Saturday during the winter and spring.
Games will begin January 23rd and likely end with the Cactus Cup championships on April 9th.
The board of the new league is working hard to secure venues throughout the Valley.
There are already five weeks of the season with fields locked in.
Our goal is to have these dates and locations completed prior to the season kickoff in late January.
Each team will be required to provide age/grade verification for the players on the field, to ensure roster continuity throughout the season and minimize size discrepancies.
The exact system is still being discussed, but having photo books at each game is a possibility.
Scottsdale United will include players from Scottsdale, North Phoenix, Paradise Valley and Fountain Hills.
All existing players from either league will be "grandfathered" into their existing clubs.
Our goal as a club is to grow lacrosse in our home boundary and support our local lacrosse programs.
A formal AYL Board has been formed to finalize details for the upcoming season.
Scottsdale United is represented on the Executive Committee of the new league, in recognition of our good standing and influence within the local lacrosse community.
Once the details have been voted and agreed upon, we'll post the official league documents on the United site for anyone interested.
Thanks in advance for your support of United and the newly formed AYL!
- The Scottsdale United Lacrosse Club Parents Board
UNITED SELECTS U11 TAKES HOME WESTERN OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
UNITED SELECTS U11 | WESTERN OPEN CHAMPIONS!
Congratulations to the Scottsdale United Selects U11 team who capped off a great undefeated spring tournament season by winning theWestern Open Lacrosse Championships! The U11 team beat a tough all-star team from the Las Vegas youth league 6-1 in the final game, after tying them 4-4 in pool play the previous day.
Goalie Drew Geguzys was also named the U11 MVP by tournament officials for his work protecting the cage. Great job Drew!
The United Selects U13 team took the second seed in the U13 bracket after pool play, but fell to the Venom of Kansas City 7-6 in the semifinal after beating them 12-5 the previous day. They then went on to win the consolation game over Rogue Lacrosse to take third place overall.
A strong contingent of U15 United alumni also dominated the U15 bracket going 5-0 as the French Toast Mafia, which earned them a chance to complete for the U15 national title at the IMG Nationals championship in Orlanda, FL in November!
Both the United U11 and U13 teams also had strong showings in the inaugural New Mexico Lacrosse Fiesta in early May, emerging with a 10-0 record in a festival format against teams from New Mexico, Colorado and West Texas.
Overall, the U11 United Selects went 9-0-1 and the U13 United Selects went 9-1 during the spring tournament season.
To everyone in the United family, have a great summer and we'll see you again this fall!
Scottsdale United | U6 & Junior High State Champions!
CONGRATULATIONS TO UNITED BLUE & UNITED 2021!
Another Cactus Cup is complete, and after two days of competition:
United Blue and United 2021 have been crowned AYLL champions of the Junior High and U6 divisions!
More impressively, both teams went undefeated for the entire season against the best of both AYLL and ALL competition, making them the undisputed Arizona state champions in their age brackets.
UNITED BLUE | 2015 JUNIOR HIGH ARIZONA STATE CHAMPIONS
UNITED 2021 | 2015 U6 ARIZONA STATE CHAMPIONS
As much as we're proud of these incredible team accomplishments, we're equally proud of the individual progress United players made across the board, especially the progression made by our brand-new players this year.
Your improvement in just three short months has been impressive to watch, and we hope your experience with competitive lacrosse leaves you hungry for more in the years ahead.
Special thanks to:
All of our coaches this season, for their time, energy, knowledge and commitment to our kids.
All of our corporate and individual donors for their generous donations.
The Parents Board for making it all happen behind the scenes the last nine months as Scottsdale United started its first season from scratch.
You, the parents, for choosing Scottsdale United as the lacrosse club for you and your son(s).